A Bit of Sage Advice

Always check your paint cans.

To wit:

Our kitchen has been in dire need of painting for a very long time, so I decided it was time to do so over the weekend. After some prep work on Saturday, we decided Sunday was The Big Day. We already had two gallon-sized cans of paint – I believe the color was “Honeysuckle Lilac Beige Dream” or something equally ridiculous and trendy. We’d had this paint for some time, since we’d actually intended to do this painting a few years ago.

Well, ok – seven years ago. Some decisions just shouldn’t be rushed, you know.

Anyway, Sunday came, and after taking the cans back to the big-box hardware store to have them re-shaken, ensuring they were still good (does house paint ever really go bad?) – we cracked open one of the cans and spent nearly four hours with brushes and rollers – a few walls and lots of ledges and crevices and tiny little strips next to door frames – some areas were a serious pain in the ass. Some areas we had to go over twice, which was an even bigger pain in the ass. But good tunes were on the radio, the weather outside was brilliant so the windows were open to beckon the fresh air, and it was getting done.

All the while, I was thinking to myself: Wow, this is really white.

And I kept thinking, as I painted and painted and wiped up dribbles and climbed up and down the step stool, about a million times it seemed. I didn’t think it was going to look quite this…white.

But I reasoned. Maybe it will be better when it dries.

You might already see where this is going.

We finished up, all sore and hungry and paint-splattered, totally ready to call it a day, and although everything was pretty darned white it looked nice. No problem – anything was better than the way it was, in any case. We could deal with it.

Now, we’d gone through one entire can of the paint. But there were still a few spots needing touching up. So pop went the other can, a bit more paint was poured, and back to work I went to cover those few renegade places, while the other half went out to the living room to watch a bit of the news.

After a few moments, it finally, slowly dawned on me that what I was now slathering on the walls was darker, definitely more beige – Honeysuckle Lilac Beige Dream, to be exact – than the paint we’d already spent the entire afternoon using – which was likely just good ol’ Base White. It wasn’t blaringly obvious, as if we’d just accidentally lost our minds with a can of Glossy Red Lipstick Flame Orchid, but it was noticeable. So, after a few choice strings of words left my mouth but still amazingly enough under my breath, the following exchange ensued between me (in the kitchen) and the husband (in the living room):

“Charles, I don’t think the paint in this can is the same color.”

There was barely a brief second of silence, and then –

“Oh yes it is!”

“Um, really – I don’t think so.”

“Yes, it is! The labels both have the same numbers and the same name on them.”

“I know, but seriously – come look at this!”

“Just let it dry for a while, ok? It’s fine.”

Ok, fine.

So I went downstairs to my office and futzed round on Facebook for a little while. When I went back to the kitchen, my heart sank straight to the bottom of my stomach faster than a brakeless bullet train down the side of Mt. Everest. But all I could do was laugh, except that I didn’t sound amused so much as a bit deranged.

“This isn’t good news, is it?” piped up the husband from the living room.

“Nope.” I said.

He finally came into the kitchen, looked at the spot I was pointing to, and uttered a single word beginning with “F” and ending with “K” at a relatively high pitch and volume.

Oh, yeah, baby…freakin’ Honeysuckle Lilac Beige Dream!!

Fortunately for us, it only took about an hour and a half to re-do everything, since we had a really nice base coat to work with.

So, now you know.

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